4 years ago1,000+ Views
In many states, it's legal to detail witnesses for a particular amount of time if there is reasonable fear that they won't be able to testify. Why wouldn't they testify? Well, if they're physically incapable (such as in gang cases and someone were to go after them), if they flee, or if some other circumstance is likely to arise.
Some states, like Arizona, limit this to 7 days. Other states like New York don't legally allow it anymore.
Oregon, however, has not put any limit on how long someone can be held if it is reasonably believed that they will not testify.
Which led to Benito Vasquez-Hernandez being held for over 900 days because his son was accused of murder, and he needed to testify against him. Another of his sons was finally released after more than 700 days. His lawyer has been trying to get him out, but the DA says he didn't cooperate in his chance to video record a statement (because, his lawyer says, he didn't understand as he is not very good at English, or very educated in matters of law).
Regardless of this particular situation, what I can't believe is this: how is it legal for someone, who isn't accused of any crimes, to be held for 900 days? The son was only released after he developed schizophrenia in jail after more than 700 days.
Shouldn't we put some sort of limit on how long even a material witness can be held against their will? If this man and his son who were being held cannot communicate, even with a Spanish translator, what is the chance of them being able to give a testimony that is actually worth all this trouble?
It just seems wrong to me.
@darysdiary @amog32 @yakwithalan I wish I knew more about what really happened. I feel like its totally lawyer says this, judge says that.....I just feel like something very unfair happened.
There's got to be more to the story because wouldn't some random jailer (or somebody) wonder why this kid is behind bars (for so long) without committing a crime?!
I'mc onfused about why he didn't try to leave when he was given the chance to record his testimony. Could he really not understand at all?
How is this even allowed? I understand the need for laws regarding material witnesses and needing to detain them, but this seems like a breach of his rights! So disgusting.